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Open Roads Forum  >  Towing

 > WD Hitch or not?

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ssthrd

Vancouver Island

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Posted: 04/14/21 02:42pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I bought my 3500 in anticipation of buying a 5th wheel in the near future, and pulled my 7,000# TT in the meantime without the WD hitch since I really didn't need one. It pulled fine, but on a few of our roads with off camber sections and frost heaves, the trailer did move around a bit.

Since I had the hitch (Equal-i-zer with 4 point sway control) I hooked it up, and the affect was to eliminate the wiggles now and then, and to stop the truck from porpoising through the worst frost heaves. Neither was a real issue, but the fact is that they were there.

Bottom line is that even though I don't need it, it does make a difference that is noticeable, and if you have one, why not use it?


2014 Keystone Laredo 292RL
2018 GMC 3500HD 6.5' box SRW Denali Duramax Andersen
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nickthehunter

Southgate, MI

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Posted: 04/14/21 03:24pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The truck may not need but what is the rating on the receiver? Receivers have a rating also, usually with and without a wdh.

BenK

SF BayArea

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Posted: 04/14/21 06:19pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Found time to do a quick search, but the OP has the truck and receiver, which should have the receiver rating label on it.

Here is a Ford 2.5 inch receiver label rating, which is a max 1900 lb tongue with a WD Hitch and a max 850 lb tongue without a WD Hitch (dead weight, or carry weight)...am assuming a RAM’s would be similar, as they would both have a 2.5 inch receiver

So, it depends what the OP’s trailer tongue weight is. Since they typically range from 10% to 15%...at 10% = 700 lbs...below the max and if at 15% 1,050 lbs...over the 850 lb rating


[image]

Bottom line: the OP needs to decide if they believe in the ratings system or not.

If not, then do whatever

IF yes, research the ratings for ‘your’ truck and then follow them, but need to actually weigh it


Drew A. wrote:

Greetings,

I am towing a 26' 7000 pound gross travel trailer with my 2018 Ram 3500 CC SB truck. Do I need a weight distributing hitch with this combo?

The Ram manual states the max tongue weight for 2500/3500 trucks is 1800 pounds but does not say if that is with/without WD. There is no mention of WD in the manual except for the section about how to adjust spring bar tension.

Thoughts?

-Drew



-Ben Picture of my rig
1996 GMC SLT Suburban 3/4 ton K3500/7.4L/4:1/+150Kmiles orig owner...
1980 Chevy Silverado C10/long bed/"BUILT" 5.7L/3:73/1 ton helper springs/+329Kmiles, bought it from dad...
1998 Mazda B2500 (1/2 ton) pickup, 2nd owner...
Praise Dyno Brake equiped and all have "nose bleed" braking!
Previous trucks/offroaders: 40's Jeep restored in mid 60's / 69 DuneBuggy (approx +1K lb: VW pan/200hpCorvair: eng, cam, dual carb'w velocity stacks'n 18" runners, 4spd transaxle) made myself from ground up / 1970 Toyota FJ40 / 1973 K5 Blazer (2dr Tahoe, 1 ton axles front/rear, +255K miles when sold it)...
Sold the boat (looking for another): Trophy with twin 150's...
51 cylinders in household, what's yours?...

Drew A.

Massachusetts

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Posted: 04/15/21 04:55am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

OP here. Thanks for the input. As far as the hitch goes, I believe that Grit Dog is right and the Ram is 18000/1800 weight carrying. So the truck really doesn't "need" a WD hitch.

I feel I'd like to use a WD hitch just for the peace of mind and possible stability improvement. The WD I currently have includes 1200 lb bars. I thought those might be too stiff for this trailer but I'll try them and see how it goes.

I like the Andersen hitch. If I decide that the 1200 lb bars are too stiff, I may get an Andersen rather than replace the bars on my current hitch.

Thanks!


2018 Ram 3500 CTD, 4X4, Laramie, SRW, SB
2021 Imagine XLS 22MLE

BurbMan

Noblesville, IN

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Posted: 04/15/21 06:28am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Drew A. wrote:

I have only towed it once: 3 hours home from the dealer. The trailer was completely empty as was the truck. With this trailer having a rear kitchen, I was concerned it might sway due to low tongue weight.

On the trip home, I used a standard WD hitch with 1200 pound bars and no sway control. The tow was great with no sway at all.


You are right to be concerned about the rear kitchen, that's where most of the weight gets packed in the form of pots/pans, and food/beverages.

The best thing you can do is pack the truck and trailer like you're going camping and then hit the scales to see where you stand on tongue weight, or pick up a tongue weight scale like a Sherline.

What most folks don't realize is that the dealer did his job and dialed in the WD hitch based on an empty trailer, but 100% of the time that hitch will need to be re-adjusted to work best with the trailer after it's loaded. The only hitches that are truly indifferent to tongue weight are the Hensley Arrow and the Pro-Pride 3P, both of which use the 4-bar linkage design. All of the other WD hitches on the market rely on adequate (10% min) tongue weight to provide some level of sway control.

Getting the trailer set up right is an iterative process....load it, weigh it, adjust the hitch, see how it tows, repeat as needed until it tows great!

A lot of it comes down to the design of the trailer and axle placement, some are much harder to dial in than others.


2015 Ram 3500 SRW 4x4 Laramie Crew Cab Long Box, Cummins diesel
2002 Lance 811 Slide-In Camper
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BackOfThePack

Fort Worth

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Posted: 04/15/21 08:51am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

“Weight” isn’t the problem (sure, don’t overload components). Understand that Tongue Weight IS NOT a constant, it’s only a placeholder number. The trailer tongue is ONE END of a lever extending to the trailer axle center. On-road, that force (mass) changes with every foot of travel. It can increase or decrease by hundreds, even thousands of pounds.

The reason for a WDH is in the name: spread that FORCE over three sets of axles.

Loss of Steering Control is the game. The TOTAL AMOUNT of rubber contacting the ground under your Drive Axle tires is what’s at stake. That trailer gets frisky and wants to pass you (sway; or oscillation: rotation), it’ll yank those rear TV tires free in a heartbeat.

The trailer tongue weight problem hasn’t existed in almost sixty years. Was solved.

What WAS NOT solved (until 25-years ago) was in eliminating trailer- tow vehicle misalignment UNDER POSITIVE THROTTLE (the only stable state of a vehicle is when moving). That’s with a Hensley patent hitch.

Loss of control accidents are about steering control being lost. Bad rig dynamics and poor operator decisions. THE PROBLEM REMAINING IS ADVERSE WINDS. (Why comparisons to a low construction trailer are meaningless). It’s the trailer SAIL AREA.

Worst trailer: high COG (slide outs) on narrow track leaf springs in non-aero square box design.
Worst tow vehicle: high COG (4WD pickup) with straight axles and long hitch overhang.

This is the worst POSSIBLE tow combination.

WDH is there to reduce component breakage and soften that big **** hammer coming down.
“Anti-sway” (integrated) dampens SOME of the trailer side-slip tendencies.

“Sway-Eliminating” uses leverage for both TW force management AND stopping the trailer from ever getting out of alignment in the first place. (Cheap, at 2X the price).

The Tow Vehicle , the Trailer; AND THE HITCH RIGGING are EQUALLY weighted in performance once spec is set.

The RIGGING ideal is TW divided 1/3-1/3-1/3 to Steer, Drive and Trailer Axles. Short version is that the Steer Axle weighs the same with or without the trailer hitched (done right). This keeps steering with the same feel AND DECREASES BRAKING DISTANCE.

If your combination vehicle DOES NOT stop faster than the solo truck with the same load, you got work to do. (Trailer MUST be dead level after hitching). Trailer drums ain’t worth much, so YOU MUST be able to get as much from them as you can before they fade irreparably.

A WDH solves TW. Since 1965. (SAE, Bundorf) More importantly, it retains STOCK steering control or feel, AND it improves towing braking distances PAST some resistance to adverse winds putting you upside down in the ditch.

Vehicle “payload” doesn’t exist as a category. Any vehicle. This is not a weight problem in any sense, it is a matter of FORCES acting against both vehicles.


2004 555 CTD QC LB NV-5600
1990 35’ Silver Streak

BackOfThePack

Fort Worth

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Posted: 04/15/21 09:15am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Belt & Suspenders approach is:

1) Hensley patent hitch (dialed in)
2) TUSON electronic trailer-mounted anti-sway (activates brakes; faster in operation than OEM TV-based systems).
3). Trailer ANTILOCK disc brakes are the only contender with the Pro Pride or Hensley hitch as to what should come first.
4). TT independent suspension (improved roll center height and widened track) is a not distant addition to those others.

“Tripping Hazards” like camber changes upset almost as many trailers as sudden crosswinds in some areas. Think of the VARIETY of ways TV & TV can be out of alignment in a vertical or horizontal plane. And then add other problems occurring at the same moment. No such thing as too much wheel travel for a trailer. INDEPENDENT movement.

Travel trailer wrecks are over in 1.5-seconds. Straight axle, sloppy steering 4WD it’s over before driver ever knows there’s a problem. (“Legal speed” may have been no defense to other factors in play)

None of this is a skill problem (“oh, I’m a good driver”. Hell, Mario Andretti couldn’t counter a rear wheel slide). Good habits start with BEST hitch rigging. And conservative driving. Which has all but disappeared among RVers.

Scale numbers set fire pressures and hitch rigging. Are a huge help in analyzing new problems that come along. Are a baseline for any RVers records. Grab your son and a friend a make a day or weekend out of it.

I’ve quoted it three dozen times, but look instead for contributor “Ron Gratz” 2010 post on the THREE PASS SCALE METHOD (its not by that name, exactly). Analyzing your hitch rigging is some arithmetic (we ain’t talkin trig).

Once you get it , it’s forever simple.

mr_andyj

Georgia

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Posted: 04/15/21 09:22am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You did not say if your truck has airbags that automatically keep the truck level (airing up when trailer is dropped on hitch).
If it levels itself then you do not need a WD hitch to help level.
If you are within the weight limit then you do not need a WD hitch.
The Ram manual is not talking about weights with using WD hitch unless it specifically states weights using a WD hitch.
A WD hitch will typically give a smoother ride and prevent the dolphin effect. A more comfy ride.

If your 7,000 gross weight trailer is loaded out to 7,000 lbs then your tongue weight should be 10-15% of that, 700-1,200 lbs or so. This is well under the rated 1,800 lbs your truck is designed for, so again, no you do not need a WD hitch necessarily. WD hitch would be for other benefits, not for tongue weight.

BackOfThePack

Fort Worth

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Posted: 04/15/21 09:33am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

mr_andyj wrote:

You did not say if your truck has airbags that automatically keep the truck level (airing up when trailer is dropped on hitch).
If it levels itself then you do not need a WD hitch to help level.
If you are within the weight limit then you do not need a WD hitch.
The Ram manual is not talking about weights with using WD hitch unless it specifically states weights using a WD hitch.
A WD hitch will typically give a smoother ride and prevent the dolphin effect. A more comfy ride.

If your 7,000 gross weight trailer is loaded out to 7,000 lbs then your tongue weight should be 10-15% of that, 700-1,200 lbs or so. This is well under the rated 1,800 lbs your truck is designed for, so again, no you do not need a WD hitch necessarily. WD hitch would be for other benefits, not for tongue weight.




Put that hitched “level” TV on the scale. Thrn drop trailer and re-weigh. The weight on the Steer Axle WILL NOT be the same. Airbags (aftermarket, not air suspension) actually make handling worse.

Air suspension adds some complication to hitching. The system needs to be de-activated until scale numbers are set. And then checked again once activated (mainly via driving tests).

It’s NOT weight. It’s amelioration of FORCE.

Owners manuals go with the J2807 set of lies to sell pickups and exclude BETTER passenger vehicles from towing (most aren’t tested and given a random low number). It’s only advice. Just not very good advice any more.

Done right, steering control is (as we used to say back in the dim dark 1960s) “fingertip”.

BenK

SF BayArea

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Posted: 04/15/21 12:01pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

BackOfThePack...Welcome to the forum !


Agree with your comments and add that these ratings are to measure/record during a static loading condition.

Dynamically, these force vectors will be many times higher than the static vectors. Then shock vectors...

Also agree that it is the TV's steering the main reason for WD Hitches...to get the front suspension back to a better setup...which includes the tires as the main component to manage the moments against the TV. Lost to so many is that a tires slip angle is way larger when unloaded too much.

Was hoping the OP would post a picture of their receiver rating label...and if they are using a 2" reducer sleeve...which also reduces the receiver rating at 2.5".

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